Nascar - Daytona 2001 - Dale Earnhardt Fatal Accident
On the front stretch coming to 3 laps to go, Earnhardt made contact with Sterling Marlin's front right fender. Earnhardt's car wiggled but Earnhardt kept control and he remained in third position. Marlin was known for having a fast car throughout the race, and Earnhardt repeatedly blocked his attempts at passing during the last few laps. With less than two laps remaining, Darrell Waltrip commented that "Sterling has beat the front end off of that old Dodge (Marlin's car) trying to get around Dale (Earnhardt)". Heading into Turn 3 on the last lap, Earnhardt was racing three wide with Marlin to his left and Schrader to his right. For reasons unknown, Earnhardt's car veered down. The left rear quarter of Earnhardt's car made slight contact with Marlin's front bumper. Earnhardt's car slid off the track's steep banking, onto the flat apron, and then turned sharply up the track toward the outside retaining wall. Although it briefly looked as though Earnhardt was going to avoid hitting the wall, the No. 3 car collided with the No. 36 Pontiac driven by Ken Schrader. Schrader's car hit Earnhardt's car just behind the passenger door, causing Earnhardt's car to snap, rapidly changing the angle of his car toward the wall.
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